Iris recognition is one of the more reliable forms of biometric authentication. Iris recognition systems take high resolution images of the iris of a person’s eye and then implement pattern recognition technology for one-to-many matching.
Iris-recognition algorithms, first created by John G. Daugman, are utilized for the image acquisition and one-to-many identification process. Most iris recognition systems use a 750 nm wavelength light source to implement Near Infrared Imaging. This enables the system to block out light reflection from the cornea and thus create images which highlight the intricate structures of the iris. But these images become difficult to recognize in the identification step. Hence nowadays visual wavelength imaging is being preferred over near infrared imaging.
The advantages of iris-recognition systems over other systems are many. Iris texture is a unique feature of a human being and it is randomly determined during embryonic gestation. No two persons have the same iris textures, not even identical twins. In this regard iris texture is more unique than DNA which is found to be the same in 0.2% of identical twins. Also the iris being mostly flat, it is a more predictable feature than a face. Also the iris-recognition algorithm has an extremely high false match rate. Also, iris texture does not easily change due to illnesses or surgeries and that makes it an extremely good attribute to store as a database.
But still iris scanners are widely trusted for security and access control purposes. Apart from defence boards and border security forces even police forces and intelligence agencies of many countries have started using iris scanning and recognition technologies to safeguard sensitive data as well as to avoid mistaken identities while bringing criminals to book.